While other college students purchase textbooks, book bags, highlighters, and pencils, students in auto mechanic programs may spend several hundred dollars on tools. These tools are important in helping them learn how to service and repair vehicles. After graduation, these tools typically follow them into their careers as auto mechanics.
Auto mechanic programs usually provide their students with a tool list which contains everything a student needs to purchase. There are several different brands to choose from when fulfilling the items on the list with each brand having benefits as well as drawbacks. Careful consideration should be given to this prior to spending hundreds of dollars on tools.
Craftsman provides an easy way for students to purchase their tools since they are available throughout the United States in Sears stores and online. Other tool brands may only be sold through supplier vehicles — there aren't brick-and-mortar stores. Craftsman tools are usually less expensive than most other brands, which is often important to students who don't typically have excess cash on hand. While most of the tools under this brand do come with a lifetime guarantee, professional auto mechanics tend to steer away from Craftsman tools since they are designed more for occasional use by a homeowner than everyday use by auto mechanics.
Another tool brand for auto mechanics to consider is Snap-on. They too offer a lifetime guarantee on their tools, and they've built a reputation among auto and diesel mechanics as having tools that last. Their tools were designed to weather the wear and tear of being used several hours each day. While they are more expensive initially, most auto mechanics find it better to invest in Snap-on in the beginning rather than keep replacing other brands of tools that continue to break.
Mac Tools are another brand similar to Snap-on that students in an auto mechanic program can use to fulfill their school tool shopping list. They tend to be a little less expensive than the Snap-on brand, although they usually cost more than Craftsman tools. Like the other brands, they offer a lifetime guarantee. The only major difference between Snap-on and Mac Tools is the fact that some auto mechanics find Mac Tools more difficult to work with in tight spaces as the tools are a bit bulkier than Snap-on. This is why it is often important for students to be able to touch and feel tools before buying them.
Both Mac Tools and Snap-on tools are sold online which makes purchasing them somewhat easier for students. However, for students that want to see what they are buying before they actually make a purchase, they will need to buy these specific brands from independent suppliers since neither Mac Tools nor Snap-on tools are sold in any store in the United States. Most auto mechanic programs have representatives from each tool company visit the school at the beginning of the program to give students a chance to buy the tools they need from these companies.
Choosing to become an auto mechanic is an excellent career decision since the job opportunities are likely to be in demand for the forseeable future. Finding reliable, hardworking tools not only helps the student make it through the program to graduation, but they continue to serve them in their future job.